Glen Brown

The Way to Mt. Zion

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Though he never became a household name like King Tubby or Lee "Scratch" Perry, Glen Browne was one of the most important bandleaders and producers of reggae's mid-1970s golden age. The rhythms he created on his Pantomine label rank among the most frequently used in all of reggae -- the "Dirty Harry" rhythm alone exists in scores of vocal, instrumental and deejay versions. The Way to Mt. Zion brings together 14 Glen Browne singles, some featuring his passable but unexceptional singing, others his passable but unexceptional melodica playing, and all featuring an all-star cast of supporting musicians and Browne's impeccable studiocraft, not to mention the remixing prowess of King Tubby on a number of dub versions. Highlights include the title track, the horticultural anthem "Lambsbread/Lambsbread Dub" and all of the skull-pounding dubs. Unfortunately, the three melodica showcases are easily skippable. But even with the slow moments, this is an essential roots-reggae document.

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